Thursday, March 1, 2012

My PR 5K at the Kapamilya Run in Cagayan de Oro City

I joined ABS-CBN's Kapamilya Run in Cagayan de Oro City last Sunday, February 26, 2012 with only one goal in mind: to finish 5K in less than 30 minutes. Two blog posts ago, I wrote about my running goals after finishing my first marathon (42 K) in Cebu early this year. Goal # 1 on that list is to finish 5K in less than half hour. While I believe I have achieved sub-30 in two local fun runs in Bukidnon, I could not proclaim the "validity" of my time. On the first run, I forgot to switch on my digital watch timer during the start while on the second run, I completely forgot to wear it! Hahaha!

With the Kapamilya Run's generally flat race route, I figured out that it is the perfect race to achieve my goal. The fastest I've done in my training runs is between 28-29 minutes and I would be happy if I could do it in the race day itself. If I could do it in 27 or less, then it would be an achievement. Since it was the first organized run I've joined after my first marathon, it was also a test if I have improved my speed even for just a bit.

Starting line was near the Divisoria Kiosk. More than 5,000 runners joined the race, majority of which are in the 5K and 2K categories. The 10K runners were first to go at exactly 5 AM. My wife Malou and I were able to enter the runners holding pen with less than 10 minutes to go before 5K gun start. Though I would have wanted to position ourselves in the front line to have a better start, we settled in the middle of the pack as it was already too difficult for us to make our way to the front.

The 5K run promptly started at 5:30 AM. Because of the large number of runners, it took me and Malou almost thirty seconds to actually pass the starting line and a few seconds more before breaking away from the pack. I paced with my wife for about 300 meters before pulling ahead as we already agreed on where to meet after the race.

My marathon training the previous months made me get used to long, slow distance runs. This was actually my first run in a long, long time where I tried to push my pace all out. I did have a bit of hard time adjusting to this new kind of stress and I find myself drinking water in every station that I passed. I reached the 5K turning point near RER subdivision gate along Kauswagan Highway a little over13 minutes. With this pace, I believed that I could reach the finish line with my goal time.

Going back, I tried to speed up my pace even more. However, I found out that I could not sustain that pace all throughout so I decided to take some walk breaks of about 30 seconds every now and then. I think I took walk breaks four times in going back to the finish. I began to look like someone who's doing some tempo running as I would run all out for a few minutes then slowed down and walked to recover. 

I took one last walk break with less than a kilometer to go before the finish. Running back again, I passed by a few runners before seeing the last one in front of me: a young girl runner! Summoning the remaining strength I had, I made a dash and blew past her just a few steps before the finish. Yup, it was an explosive finish for me. Hahahaa!!!! : )

 My wife Malou (Runner # 5387) making her way to the finish

My digital watch time read 26:57 after I crossed the finish line. Whoa!!!! I just made a PR and it made me want to jump for joy. I have to restrain myself, though, lest I look like a fool. : )  Malou arrived about three minutes later, giving me enough time to catch my breath and take her photo as she made her finish. Her watch read a little over 30 minutes, but I am sure her official time is a shade better than that.

 Me and my wife

We then took our certificates and snacks at the finishers' booth. No loot bags were given but there were lots of free snacks (banana, crackers, canned juices, water and probiotic drinks). During the "bring me game" in the awarding ceremony, we also won gift certificates equivalent to 12 pieces of KFC chicken (burp!!!).

 With my younger bro Rod Bolivar of ABS-CBN Northern Mindanao

The official result came out the day after and my official chip time is 26:44 while my wife finished at 29:39. It was indeed a PR breaking run for us as we both made a sub-30 5K for the first time. The only downside is that in the official result my name reads: UNKNOWN FINISHER. Harharhar!!!!

Post-Run Notes:

* I need to do more tempo runs as I realized that I could not sustain a fast pace for a long duration. I would have finished faster if I could maintain my pace all throughout. 

* I am starting to believe that my wife is a better runner than me. With less practice and less mileage, she still managed to finish 5K in sub-5:30. This is another reason for me to train even more. Nyahahaha!

* Having achieved Goal # 1, I've now set my sight on my second goal: finished 10K in less than one hour. As of this writing, I've no schedule yet on when will be my next run. Stay tuned! 

Kapamilya Run Cagayan de Oro Race Results (from Circle Productions):

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